Alan Titchmarsh, the nation’s favourite gardener, who has been working to raise the profile of British horticulture and agriculture, has given his support to the re-launching of Waitrose’s Grow and Sell project.
It is aimed at encouraging children to grow their own produce, especially as the Spring sunshine arrives, and then sell it. And here in Marlborough children aged from 7 to 11 from five schools are now testing their skills growing crops of their own in the weeks ahead.
Waitrose has presented them with Grow and Sell kits created by Seed Pantry, a family business, which contain vegetable seeds, equipment and step-by-step growing instructions – as well as badges for the young entrepreneurs to designate roles for both growing and selling their produce.
They have gone to pupils at Ogbourne St George, Burbage, Ramsbury, St Andrew and Pewsey primary schools and, as part of a new feature, their kits have also included wild flower seeds, aimed at boosting the number of butterflies and bees in their areas.
And Waitrose plans to launch a Grow and Sell educational app to enable children, teachers and parents to access information a variety of subjects, including the importance of the environment.
“The expansion of the Waitrose scheme means that even more children can benefit from learning about the food they eat,” Alan Titchmarsh told Marlborough News Online. “And they might just learn to love eating fresh produce because they’ve grown it themselves.
“Understanding the value of preserving and restoring nature through growing wild flowers to encourage the return of bees is also a fantastic lesson for children to discover.”
The Grow and Sell scheme has already been popular in Marlborough where the supermarket’s customers can support the schools by dropping a green token into one of the Community Matters boxes.
“Having seen the success of last year’s project, it brings us immense pleasure to be able to offer the Grow and Sell scheme to many more schools,” said Waitrose departmental manager Charles Betney.
“We hope it will encourage children to choose to eat well and inspire entrepreneurial minds to flourish.”